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9 Times Women On TV, Movies, And YouTube Were Real AF

Strong, funny, flawed women. <3

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1. Donna Meagle (Parks and Recreation)


"Donna is clear about communicating her desires – whether that's sexual or commercial. She makes no apologies for the way she spends her money – she's a well-paid government employee who is also a grown woman. She's a woman who enjoys her day job, but doesn't need to rise to the top of the game – she's got some side hustles, but they're more of a passion project than a quick rich scheme. (I mean, the Snakehole Lounge was never going to get anyone their second house).

"She doesn't talk about her body in a negative way, she makes mistakes, and she advocates for things, and people, that she believes in. And she's unapologetically herself throughout.

"To see a woman live a full and rounded life, without the end goal of marriage or incredible wealth might sound like a mundane prospect – but it's also ground-breaking. To just live, happily, is enough." – Ailbhe Malone

2. Stef Sanjati


"I have been watching Stef for years now and I am very proud to be part of her Bread Squad. Stef does a bloody great job raising awareness for so many things, such as trans rights, eating disorders, Waardenburg Syndrome, and she creates some really informative sex positive videos.

"These are all brilliant things but the best thing about Stef is that she’s bloody hilarious, seriously I snort laughing watching her explain the simplest thing, even her makeup tutorials contain some brilliant one liners. For me, these little laughs mean so much and I’m sorry to be very soppy but even though we’ve never met Stef is such a light in my life." – Cassie Smyth

3. Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)


"Rosa is full of contradictions – she's tough as nails and loves Nancy Meyers movies. She's dedicated to her job and her colleagues, but doesn't let her professional life overlap with her private life (how many seasons did it take for us to see her apartment?) She makes tough managerial decisions (like calling out Jake for being too starstruck to investigate a crime properly), but isn't afraid to cry over a breakup in front of her bosses.

"She's been in love with men and with women, planned a dream wedding but called it off because it wasn't right for her – with no drama, only clear-headedness. She's a total babe, and I'd watch her interior decorating challenge-based spin-off this second." – Ailbhe Malone

4. Peggy Olson (Mad Men)


"I feel like she is an almost obvious choice because she was written specifically to be a three-dimensional character that grows and becomes bolder as the seasons progress. Mad Men is a show that perfectly portrays the sometimes subtle, and sometimes very obvious misogyny that was so prevalent during the times, and it shows Peggy as an incredibly strong woman who rose above and demanded respect despite all the odds, like thousands of others unknown women undoubtedly did.

"I love that she is clearly strong, but in the true human way, and not in the 2-dimensional super hero way in which the character is not permitted to falter at any moment." – Natalya Lobanova


5. Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)

Type A films/ MGM

"In Legally Blonde, Elle decided she wanted to go to Harvard, worked really hard, and then got in even though literally no one believed in her. And as soon as she arrived, she realised Warner was a total jerk, landed the dream internship, and supported literally every woman she came into contact with (including Vivian, who was frankly a real bitch).

"But best of all: she ended up taking Professor Callahan's job and proving Brooke Windham was innocent all because she knew the rules of getting a perm. The fact that Elle ends up with Emmett is just a side note a story about a hard-working, intelligent, kind woman realising the extent of her potential and bringing everyone else up with her." – Tabatha Leggett

6. Cristina Yang (Grey's Anatomy)


“No conversation about badass women is complete without Cristina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy. She was formidable, driven, and ruthless when it came to getting what she wanted, but she was also fiercely loyal and pragmatic.

"The friendship between her and Meredith is one of the greatest of all time. It gave us one of my favourite TV phrases (“you’re my person”, and two women who had each other’s backs unfailingly." — Gena-mour Barrett

7. Miranda Hobbes (Sex And The City)


"I will forever maintain that all the women of Sex And The City are brilliant (yes, even Carrie) because, as the series go on, every one of them develops in a way that women in sitcoms rarely get to. But Miranda is the best of all. She's ambitious, cynical, and passionately devoted to her friends.

"She's a textbook second-wave feminist and my heart just melts when she eventually lets Steve love her. But the best thing about Miranda is that she doesn't need Steve, or Skipper, or Robert, or any of the other men she dates: She's unapologetically flawed and it's so refreshing to watch". – Tabatha Leggett

8. Jane Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)

Scott Everett White / Scott Everett White/The CW

"Jane owns her sexuality, even when she’s not having sex – she’s never ashamed of her virginity at the start of the series, but nor is she ashamed when she wants to try having a casual fling.

"She also goes through a lot in the show but is always dedicated to her dream of being a writer; even though Jane is so driven and strong throughout everything, she lets herself cry and shows that being tough and being in touch with your emotions aren’t mutually exclusive." – Jasmin Nahar

9. Issa Rae (Insecure)


"When it comes to women that I find inspirational, it tends to be women who don't have it all together. Women that are trying and sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don't. Something about this, is so powerful to me because it's so real. And that's why I love Issa the character and Issa the real life G! Issa in Insecure is what Joan was to me in Girlfriends. It's just a black woman, trying to live her best life.

"Her blackness is never ignored nor is it used as some sort of gimmick. I watch Issa cry over a bad breakup, stalk her ex, be petty, have a shit day at work, make bad decisions and it feels like I am watching me. And this makes me feel like my experiences matter." – Tolani Shoneye